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Old 07-01-2008, 08:53 AM
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newbie...looking for info

Guess this it the right thread for me. Currently own a '99 454 Jimmy 2500 gasser and this looks like a good time to be upgrading my power.

Thinking about an Excursion...like the SUV as 3 dogs travel with me and I like the climate controlled back area. Use this rig strictly as a tow vehicle for a 7000# travel trailer, 6000 to 10000 miles per year broken into 3-4 trips. Lots of 6 to 8% grades in my travel.....15 mile 8% grade right out my back door. I can get over the top at 30 mph in my 454 and looking to improve.

I've never owned a diesel so starting from scratch. Fuel prices are not a consideration for me as I fully expected them to be this high a few years back and would have bought oil futures if I'd had any dough. MPG is a factor, however. I currently get 6-8 mpg when towing.

My question is what should I be looking for? I'm thinking 2000-2003 models.
I will need 4WD....4-5 ft. of snow where I live. From my browsing, it appears that some diesels are more reliable than others, have more power, less problems, etc. What should I be looking to pay?

There seem to be enough on the market at present that I might find a deal out there. Not sure what I'd do with the Jimmy, though. Same problem selling those.

Appreciate any help you can offer.
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Old 07-10-2008, 05:52 PM
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Well, if your looking for a good mule, and good MPG's, then look for a 00-03 model with the 7.3. They stopped the ex in 05, so your only option is the 7.3 or the 6.0, 03 & 04 were the beginning years of the 6.0's and a crap shoot. Lots of people with good 6.0's, but also lots with bad 6.0's. I'd either find an 05 with a 6.0, 0r get the 00-03 with the 7.3. farmboydiesel has an 02 for sale that has been taken care of, and from what he says is real clean. Don't remember what he's looking to get for it though.

I bought mine almost a year ago for 14k, was a steal back then, and still wouldn't be too bad a price now. Prices have fallen since then. Too bad you weren't looking a little while ago, a member here had a beauty for sale that another member bought (parumph sp?)

I'd look for a limited model, as they have the backup sensors. It's a stress reliever when the wife drives, and sometimes you can be a little lazy too! LOL I like mine, wouldn't trade it for anything, except for a new one with a 6.4, but that will never happen, so mines a family member at this point.
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Old 07-10-2008, 07:32 PM
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Looking at a pair of '02s at the moment, one w/80K..the other 85K. Actually, they are twins...both used by a fancy dude ranch to shuttle $2K/day guests to the airport and back. They are XLTs rather than limited. My wife does not drive the big guys. It's used strictly for towing, no sensors necessary, no DVD player needed. The 2nd seat goes down and stays down as that is where the dogs ride. Serviced every 3-4K miles...all records intact. I can take either one for around $12K (at least that's our starting point) plus my old Burb which ain't worth much at a wholesale auction. Might have to pay someone to take it away.They're a couple of hundred miles away and I'm going to check them out this weekend. They have a 3rd unit, same use, 63K miles, $2000 more, but it is a 6.0 and I'm a little leery after all the info on these forums. I also have an "expert" advisor who owns a diesel performance shop locally, and that doesn't hurt when I have questions. I thought a glowplug was a firefly with no wings until I started looking at these PSDs. As soon as I pull the trigger on something, he's going to give me the "Purple Royal" treatment. I ran Amsoil in 3 previous GM products.

My biggest concern is the tranny, apparently a weak spot on these automatics. See you've got a new one coming. What happened? I suppose I should just plan on a new tranny in the next 30-40K miles, huh.
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Old 07-10-2008, 08:08 PM
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Well, I bought it with 89k on it, and thought the tranny was going. Made it to 105 before she finally went. Had a local shop rebuild it, and couldn't be happier. Gained 3mpg over the course of 38 gallons of fuel (went from 19 to 22mpg, hand calculated) So either the tranny is well built, or my old one was slipping alot. LOL Makes me want a chip yesterday with the new tranny. I'm patient though.

If you grab one with a 7.3, get the JW valve body right away and have that put in. That should buy you some time. Theres something else in addition to the JW that the guys around here suggest, but I don't remember what it is. Theres a few other mods to do (intake, exhaust, gauges and chip it) you'll never have a regret after. I haven't chipped mine yet, but it's coming. I want to do the amsoil switch over first. Just waiting for my mechanic to give me a green light.

I think if you can get out of there leaving the burb, and only laying down 10k, walk away smiling, and use the rest on a bottle of Patron and enjoy the new ex that you never want to disappear!! LOL Hell, 12 isn't that bad, but I have something against giving anyone their starting price. Always have to barter and get a better price. LOL
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Old 07-20-2008, 02:37 PM
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Exc 7.3 2001 LTD

We bought 01 Exc LTD in 2001- has the 7.3 PSD - wife's car, she loves it. we did a lot of road trips between OK and NM with half the hose and a few dogs and cats too with no problem. Ave mpg at 75mph is 17. Gets around 14 in town.

Brakes werew a problem until we fitted cryo slotted rotors and performance pads (we live in the mountains) but since then it stops on a dime no problem.

Had a new tranny at 75,000 miles (just after a service where they changed the fluid. fortunately covered by a warranty ($6,000 at Ford).

other than that it beats our previous Suburban ad we now have 133,000 miles on it and its stll going strong

should be able to get a good buy in these times!
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Old 07-20-2008, 03:15 PM
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Update. Purchased a 2001 7.3L Ex Ltd....33K miles. Pre-purchase inspector said that it is in great shape. Currently in shop for full servicing (Royal Purple), chip add on, etc.

What's a JW valve body?
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Old 07-20-2008, 05:32 PM
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Congrats! a 7.3 with 33k... incredible!!! My tranny made it 137,000 towing 10k regularly. you are going to love it!
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Old 07-20-2008, 07:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ramblemutt View Post
Update. Purchased a 2001 7.3L Ex Ltd....33K miles. Pre-purchase inspector said that it is in great shape. Currently in shop for full servicing (Royal Purple), chip add on, etc.

What's a JW valve body?
John Wood Valve Body

JW VB= John Wood Valve body, for the tranny. Better shifting, you'll thank yourself after. Should extend the life of your tranny because it increases line pressure.

Congrats on the new ex. what chip you going with? Hopefully TW or a DP. Anything else, you'll be disappointed.
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Old 07-25-2008, 03:53 PM
osk osk is offline
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Congrats on the new EX!!!
I had a 2500 Suburban with a 454 vortec before I got my EX.
There is no comparison when it comes to towing
I will never go back to gasser for a tow vehicle.
Enjoy
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